New Year’s can be an exciting time for those looking to make a change. With a new year comes a fresh start for many, providing inspiration to set, and work towards new goals. While most people have the best of intentions early on, it is typically just a few months later that those same individuals get off track or even forget their resolutions altogether, particularly when it comes to fitness goals. Here are a few tips for what you can do to ensure a successful resolution.

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Remember your WHY

What is the reason why you want to lose ten pounds of fat in three months, run a marathon, be able to climb the stairs at work without feeling winded or complete any other fitness resolutions? If you do not already have your why for your resolution, then I urge you to reevaluate your resolution. You are more likely to achieve your resolution or goal if it is connected and important to you. Do not just set a resolution simply because you “should.” Ask yourself what is important to you and determine how achieving your goal will benefit you. For example, will you benefit by being able to spend more time playing with your kids without losing energy or becoming winded, or will you gain that additional confidence in your everyday life to participate in activities you didn’t think you could do?

It is also important to come back to this why many times, especially when you are struggling with your resolution because having a reason that aligns with your values will bring you that extra motivation to stay committed. Staying committed increases your consistency and consistency turns into results.

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Create a plan and track your progress

Too many times people set goals without doing any planning on how to get there. Break your resolution up into baby steps in which you can focus on one smaller item at a time and track your progress along the way. Write down your resolution (this is important to solidify your commitment!) as well as your planned milestones and deadlines. The excitement you gain from achieving one of your smaller milestones fosters continued commitment and success since you can see your hard work coming to fruition early on versus six or twelve months away. Additionally, make sure that you track your progress along the way. This becomes important for adjusting your resolutions later if necessary.

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Be flexible with your resolutions

If you find out that your plan or resolution is not working for you, be open to reconsidering your steps to get there or resolution altogether. Sometimes this can be a result of not setting a clear and attainable goal in the first place. Other times this can be a result of us changing over time. We are human beings who change over time and as we change sometimes our values or priorities change, and that’s okay! It is perfectly fine to refine or edit your resolution. There is no reason to waste your time on something that is simply not working for you. Sometimes all things require is one tweak to your plan to set you up for success! For example, if you set a resolution to go to the gym four times per week and you find it hard to meet that goal, consider changing it to getting in a workout four times per week and substitute the gym for some indoor or outdoor bodyweight circuits or cardio workouts. Evaluate your progress and resolutions throughout the year, determine if a change needs to be made, and then continue to move forward.

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Sustainability is key

Many fitness resolutions use processes that are not sustainable such as losing fifteen pounds in one month. Do not make the mistake of being tempted by one of these “quick fixes.” Quick fixes usually lead to a place where one is worse off in the end long term. Instead, focus on changing or building new habits that make you feel good and improve your quality of life. This may be hard to do early on as more time may be required upfront but your investment will be worth it in the end.

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Resolutions are made to spark positive change and improve one’s life in the coming year. Follow these tips above to turn your resolutions into accomplishments. For more fitness tips I suggest you read my Six Tips for Getting Over Gym-timidation series from last year.